Much of Wyoming is still not accessible to electric vehicle (EV) drivers. But, as of last week there’s one new place that drivers can charge quickly.
Mike Yin showed a small crowd how to use the new, fast EV charger that his company, OtterSpace, installed in downtown Pinedale.
“Now you make sure your car is plugged in, take it out of the port, put it in the adapter,” he said at the ribbon cutting for the new charger.
It’s like fueling up your car at the gas pump. But it costs about $35 for a full tank and takes about half an hour to charge.
Pinedale Mayor Matt Murdock said before this charger, the town of about 2,200 people had one other station that could only charge Teslas, and it took about eight hours.
“It opens up Pinedale to a wide variety of tourists who would normally not come up this direction, because otherwise their batteries die, and they can’t make the distance,” Murdock said.
Ten other communities in Wyoming have fast EV charging stations, leaving much of the state still hard to access by electric vehicle.
“So this creates a route between I-80 and Yellowstone, as well as opens up Sublette County in general to being accessible to electric vehicles,” Yin said.
Sublette County has long been known for things like diesel trucks and natural gas fields and there’s not many locals driving an electric vehicle. But, Murdock said the community needs to be open to the technology and all types of energy can coexist.
“We produce a ton of energy here. This is just another source,” Murdock said. “And so I don’t think we want to say, ‘We don’t want anybody who drives electric vehicles in Sublette County, right?’ We want people to come and experience this community.”
Nick Robeson, fleet manager for Fremont Motor Companies, drove an electric F-150 from Lander to Pinedale for the ribbon cutting.
“OtterSpace putting in this fast charger here really opens it up. I couldn’t have made it home today if they hadn’t opened this charger up,” Robeson said. “So I was 33 percent (battery) when I got here. After 15 minutes (charging), it’s back to 50 percent, which is already enough to get back to Lander.”
OtterSpace’s Yin is a representative (D-Jackson) in the Wyoming Legislature. A group of republican legislators attempted to pass a resolution last session that would’ve banned the sales of electric vehicles by 2035 – it died in committee.